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Wed Mar 14, 2018, 11:13 AM

Defender of NH primary (a Dem) gets Dem challenger after serving Trump's voter-fraud panel

BY REID WILSON - 03/14/18 12:06 PM EDT

New Hampshire Democrats will mount a challenge to their state's longtime secretary of state later this year even though the incumbent is also a Democrat.

Former state executive councillor Colin Van Ostern (D) will announce Wednesday he will campaign to replace Bill Gardner, the Secretary of State for the last 42 years.

Gardner, also a Democrat, is best known as the most ardent defender of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary.

He has won election in the state legislature New Hampshire is the only state where the legislature elects the secretary of state even when Republicans have held control. But Gardner's participation in President Trump's now-defunct voter fraud panel earlier this year angered some New Hampshire Democrats.

Gardner has also backed Republican-sponsored legislation to restrict voting by students from out of state who attend college in New Hampshire, where they register to vote.


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